The Chicago Family Law Blog

April 2012 Archives

While most parents would punish their teen for fighting, an Elgin mom has been accused of encouraging her 16-year-old daughter to fight another girl, going so far as to drive her to a park to do just that, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Anita R. Joost allegedly drove her daughter to a park for a fight, telling the girl to “kick her ass.” Joost has been charged with aggravated battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

A 5-year-old boy who was allegedly kidnapped by his father from a St. Louis hospital has been tracked to a hotel outside of Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports.

On Wednesday morning, Police found Porter Stone, who suffers from congestive heart failure and is a high-priority transplant candidate, unharmed at the Baymont Inn & Suites in Alsip. Authorities arrested Jeffrey Stone, the boy’s father, in the hotel room, charging him with kidnapping, endangering the welfare of a child, and interference with child custody.

Dennis Rodman is no stranger to family law issues, having recently been embroiled in a dispute over unpaid spousal and child support. Now the former Chicago Bulls star has finally consented to end his marriage to Michelle Rodman, a whole eight years after Michelle first filed her divorce papers, Fox Sports reports.

Last week, Rodman finally put an end to the couple’s eight-year divorce battle. Though the Basketball Hall of Famer signed the divorce papers, the dispute over the $800,000 in allegedly unpaid child support payments continues.

On Sunday, Chicago police arrested 23-year-old Michelle Feliciano for reportedly beating her 11-month-old son in a “bout of frustration.” The infant suffered multiple injuries, including skull fractures and puncture wounds caused by a toothpick, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Feliciano was charged with three counts of felony aggravated battery to a child and two counts of misdemeanor endangering the health of a child. Her baby is currently in stable condition at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

On Saturday, a Cook County bond court ordered former Chicago Bears wide receiver David Terrell be held on $10,000 bond for a misdemeanor domestic battery charge, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Terrell’s 25-year-old ex-girlfriend told police last Friday that during an argument at Terrell’s high-rise apartment, Terrell grabbed the woman and threatened to throw her off the balcony. Police arrested Terell at his North South Side apartment later that day.

The long-running saga surrounding U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh’s alleged failure to make child support payments may have finally come to an end. On Thursday, the Congressman announced that he and his ex-wife, Laura Walsh, had finally resolved their child support conflict, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Laura Walsh filed a suit in Cook County in 2010 alleging Walsh owed her more than $117,000 in unpaid child support and interest. She brought the suit after discovering that Walsh had been making personal loans to his own campaign yet had fallen behind on his child support payments.

Last week, the seven-year itch claimed yet another Hollywood couple. Marc Anthony made his split with Jennifer Lopez official last Monday by filing for divorce in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Fox News reports.

The former couple, who have been married for seven years, had previously announced their separation in June 2011. In his petition, Anthony cited “irreconcilable differences” as the impetus for the split.

On Friday, 22-year-old Doulesha Wyatt was sentenced to 79 months in prison for the 2010 murder of her 21-month-old son, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Wyatt was convicted of murdering her son, Jaymeon Wyatt, in March.

Jaymeon was brought into the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital in July 2010 after sustaining numerous injuries. After inspecting the child’s injuries, doctors contacted authorities to report suspected abuse.

Convicted madam, Kimberly Miniea, is fighting for custody of her two adopted daughters in a Cook County juvenile court, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Miniea was convicted of running a Berkeley brothel with her then-17-year-old daughter.

In December 2010, the girls were placed in foster care following a raid on Miniea's home. The Cook County State's Attorney's Office, social workers, and court-appointed guardians for the girls all contend that Miniea's custodial rights should be revoked.

Korie Kellogg, the ex-wife of former Chicago Bull Eddy Curry, has been arrested for aggravated battery of a child, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Kellogg allegedly beat her and Curry’s 10-year-old son with a belt on April 4.

On Wednesday, Kellogg’s bail was modified to allow her to have supervised contact with her son, in response to an emergency motion by her attorney.

American Idol star Ruben Studdard recently divorced his wife Surata Zuri, citing irreconcilable differences, TMZ reports. While divorces are often expensive affairs capable of draining even the deepest of pockets, Studdard emerged from his divorce financially unscathed.

Due to an ironclad prenuptial agreement Zuri signed before the couple’s marriage, Studdard’s former wife was awarded only personal items and a few thousand dollars.

In February, Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated that he would support legislation, currently pending in Springfield, that would legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reports. “If you have two loving adults, that should actually be held up as a positive, whether it’s male or female, but in this case female-female, male-male,” Emanuel said. “I think that’s proper, and we shouldn’t as a state discriminate.”

Not only would the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act help end discrimination, but it may also help the state’s economy, according to a new report by the Williams Institute, the leading institute on sexual orientation and gender identity law, The Huffington Post reports.

Many Chicago-area residents are up in arms about a proposed Naperville fertility clinic. In vitro fertilization, a process that often involves the destruction of excess embryos, has its fair share of critics, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The debate centers on “personhood,” or the point at which an embryo or fetus is considered a person and is, in turn, protected by constitutional rights. While proponents of IVF argue that an embryo is not a person, opponents of the practice are pushing for state laws that would codify the personhood of even embryos.

In a 2006 survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a quarter of the lawyers surveyed said they had noticed an increase in the number of pet custody cases. Though it's been over half a decade since the AAML conducted the study, divorce lawyers agree that pet custody cases are still on the rise, according to The Associated Press.

In divorces that involve a child, judges often grant custody of the pet to the parent who'll be caring for the child. "But what do you do when the pet is the child?" wonders Ken Altshuler, a divorce attorney and president of the AAML.